Smart Urban mobility - now on two wheels

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Braking energy is recuperated and converted into electrical energy and stored in the lithium-ion battery

smart, the makers of the nifty tiny cars that are ubiquitous on city streets, have announced the production of an electric bike - the smart ebike. Delivery in Europe and the US is set to commence in 2012.

The bike is designed with the characteristic smart signature and the two-material, two-colour concept is typical of the brand. The main components such as the frame, battery housing, handlebars, lights or mudguards have all been developed specifically. The plastic battery housing forms a striking contrast to the aluminium frame and the dynamic look is rounded off by 26 inch wheels. The headlamp and rear lights use LED technology.

smart CEO Dr. Annette Winkler stated: "We at smart have been gathering experience of electric drives and the mobility needs of city dwellers around the world for years. The smart ebike is the logical product of this experience and compliments the smart fortwo extremely well. We listened to what people wanted from the perfect city bike and then came up with some clever solutions such as the integrated USB port for smartphones and energy recuperation during braking.”

The ebike boasts agile performance: the rider decides how much power to take from the 250 watt electric motor by pressing a button on the handlebar, with a choice of four power levels. Depending on the power level selected and the manner of cycling a battery charge can last for more than 62 miles.

The portable battery can be charged either at a normal socket or whilst riding - with the latter offering advantages in terms of cost and the environment. The wheel hub motor becomes a generator when the rider brakes. The braking energy is recuperated and converted into electrical energy and stored in the smart ebike's lithium-ion battery.

Electric bike sales are on the rise in Europe, with around 700,000 e-bikes sold in 2010 against 200,000 in 2007. Pricing is still to be confirmed.

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